There’s a woman in Fargo, North Dakota, who plans to hand out “fat letters” to kids she deems “moderately obese” instead of giving them Halloween candy. She said in a radio interview, “I just want to send a message to the parents of kids that are really overweight … I think it’s just really irresponsible of parents to send them out looking for free candy just ’cause all the other kids are doing it.” When I mentioned this story to my fellow Babble writers, my colleague Joslyn Gray said, “It’s worth noting that LOTS of parents have their kids “trade in” all/most of their candy anyway for a variety of reasons – allergies, dental health, whatever.” Joslyn says her kids give at least half of their candy to Operation Gratitude, an organization that sends care packages to military soldiers.
If the nasty ol’ witch behind this Halloween letter really wants to make a difference in the lives of fat kids, she could hand out sugar-free gum or real-fruit fruit snacks or bags of baby carrots — anything but a letter that’s going to destroy an already fragile child’s self-esteem. As a local Fargo psychology professor put it, “It’s just that kind of thing that for some kids, if they’re vulnerable, might trigger major problems …. Even if a child is overweight, they might be very healthy because of what they eat and how they exercise.”
If anyone who lives in Fargo is reading this and would like a handy response letter to arm their children with, I’ve written something for you, below. It’s just a template, really. Feel free to adjust as needed.
Dear Old Hag,
You’re ugly and mean and no one likes you. I’d tell you to your face, but my mouth is too full of candy so I can’t talk. By the way, stop giving candy to all the skinny kids, you idiot! They’re the ones who can’t handle sugar like I can and so they spaz out and do things like egg your car and toilet paper your trees. I tried to tell them not to, but again, my mouth was too full. Oops!